MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infections are a major and growing problem in both hospital and community settings. With resistance to the antibiotic vancomycin (one of the last drugs available to treat MRSA infections) emerging, it is clear that alternative therapeutic strategies are needed. The discovery and development of such novel strategies requires a greater understanding of this organism?s ability to cause infection. In a healthy person, the immune system is usually sufficient to protect against infections by many pathogens, however this places a selective force on pathogens to develop strategies to evade its effects. The aim of this project is to characterise in detail the interactions that occur between a specific S. aureus immune-evasion protein (Eap) and the human immune system. We will study at a molecular and cellular level both the host and pathogen to characterise the potential of this protein as a target for novel therapeutic intervention.